As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, we are facing a critical challenge. Scientists warn that the speed of climate change due to ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions is accelerating rapidly; that the natural resources that sustain us are threatened by manmade pollution.
The problem appears overwhelming. What can we possibly do? Talk alone is not enough. Action is the only answer, and I am proud to say that Berkeley College is already acting to reduce our carbon footprint and heighten awareness about the importance of protecting our environment.
In 2008, Berkeley College became a proud partner in the Mayor’s 2030 Challenge, joining over a dozen universities in the greater New York City area that have accepted Mayor Michael E. Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in one decade.
And in July of 2009, we joined other college presidents across the nation who are participating in the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Together, we pledge that our institutions of higher learning will take a leadership role in facilitating a sustainable future for our planet.
At Berkeley, we are actively engaged in reducing our carbon footprint through the introduction of energy conserving lighting and appliances for our campus facilities, motion sensing devices, “power down” protocols for computers, low flow faucets and flushers, and campus wide recycling and/or conservation of paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, toner and ink cartridges and cell phones.
Through Berkeley’s environmental awareness program, Project GreenPath, we are heightening awareness that the ‘Earth is Our Business.’
In addition to all of the recycling activities already in place, beginning the first week of February, Berkeley College will participate in “Recyclemania,” a nationwide university challenge to reduce waste on campus. Please visit the Berkeley College website for details about our activities as well as Recyclemania.org for events around the nation.
I invite you to share what you are doing to save our planet for future generations by adding your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dario A. Cortes, PhD